To describe the decline of the European aristocracy in the late 19th century, Evans quotes from the memoirs of Hermynia von Zur Mühlen, the daughter of an Austrian aristocrat who married a Baltic German nobleman. It proved less a successful marriage of opposites and more a war of contrasting worlds:
Hermynia's father-in-law tried to intervene: 'He would stare at me as though he thought I had lost my mind, then he would roar louder than ever: "If I were your husband I should bet you to a pulp." "If you were my husband," I replied, "I should either have murdered you a long time ago, or else you would have learned how to behave like a gentleman."'
And just like that, another book was added to my TBR stack.